Dream (n): Something notable for it’s beauty, excellence, or enjoyable quality.
A strongly desired goal or purpose
(vb): To consider as a possibility; IMAGINE
“Finally, brothers and sister, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.” - Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Some kids have permission to dream and some don’t. Some kids are privileged to have parents with good paying careers, they look up to them, and they’re in an environment that promotes where they desire to be in life.
Growing up in Detroit, dreaming was something I did, but I didn't feel the dreams I had were within reach. My mom had decent jobs that paid the bills and took care of me and my sisters, and not to mention, I also had some pretty awesome adults that God placed in my life, but the reality was that my reality always took my permission to dream away.
My reality consisted of hearing constant arguments about money and there was no education about money at home or in school, so this idea about dreaming sounded good to pass the time, but how would I pay for my big ole dream?
Everything I dreamed about costs money, so how would I get it?
Those thoughts alone shot down any possibilities that I may have thought to be doable, so fear crept in. My household preached go to school, make good grades, and go to college. Nothing is wrong with that, except no one tells you that you will have to take out student loans that will leave you in debt because the family doesn’t have thousands and thousands of dollars lying around for you to continue your education, and you may or may not ever use your degree.
I remember telling my grandmother about my passion to write. I was around 12 years old and around that time I would capture my dreams in the poems I wrote. I remember putting an autobiography together when I was in the 6th grade, and I stapled it and everything! I saw myself writing books.When I shared my passion for writing with my grandmother, I remember her saying,“You can’t make any money writing, Erica.”
In my heart, until this day, I don't think she shot my passion down intentionally. Her generation taught her to go to school, make good grades, go to college to get a good job and that’s what she passed on to me and my sisters. We all want that for our children.
But in the times we are living in now, I want my kids to absolutely be aware of the fact that yes, grades are important, and yes, a college degree is great, but entrepreneurship is possible and following your passion for something doesn’t just have to be a hobby to pass the time, you can absolutely make money doing the thing that you love!
My goal is to create an atmosphere for my kids where it’s ok to dream. I want to provide financial literacy to them, to assist them in making better decisions with their money as they grow. Even though it will take money for the dream to happen, it cost us NOTHING to dream.
In the beginning of this post, I listed some definitions for the word Dream. I found others, but I found these particularly interesting because the first one I listed is a noun and the second one is an action verb. It signified to me that our dreams always happen in stages, never overnight..
Stage 1: You have to have a vision in your mind as to what you want your future to look like. A strong desired goal or purpose. Something that is notable for its beauty, excellence, and enjoyable quality ( The noun.. It’s just a thing right now)
Stage 2: You have to now consider the things in your mind as a possibiility. ( The verb.. Make a decision to consider)
Stage 3: Now you need to create a plan (The verb.. Make the decision to create)
Stage 4: Practice discipline and boundaries to get there (and now we’ve got action!)
We have to constantly remind ourselves that nothing worth having happens overnight. And just because you don't see results right now doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. Just keep working at it until you see what you created in your plan.
The main thing that has inspired me to keep going in the plan I have created for my life is that even though my reality as a child did not give me permission to dream, God does.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable,- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about these things”- Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
As I have gotten a little stronger in my walk with God, I have learned that putting Him at the head of everything makes things so much better. Take all of your concerns and worries to Him in prayer and He will direct you in the way you should go (Proverbs 3:6 NLT). It takes the guesswork out of what you should be doing as far as your plan is concerned. If you let Him, God will direct your plan if you are brave enough to write it out first. And it’s worth mentioning here that your dreams put anxiety and stress about what you don’t have today at bay. So dreaming literally helps your stress hormones decrease while helping your motivation hormones increase!
I want to challenge you to give your children permission to dream. No matter how old they are. Set aside some time for you and your kids to just dream out loud.
My daughter Treasure is something else. She hates going to the doctor. Every time I’ve had to take her, she gives them the hardest time. She cries uncontrollably and refuses to take the medicine they need to give her, so I always find myself in a position where I have to hold her down and force her to do what the doctor wants her to do. But recently, when we got home from her last visit, she told me that she was going to be a doctor. Let me remind you that she’s only 3. And when I am not feeling well, she tells me that she is the doctor. She acts like she has supplies with socks. For example, if I am laying down and say I have a headache, well she will go get a clean sock and put it over my head like it's some kind of cold compress. And I never shoot her reenactments down. I actually pray over her silently. I pray that God will give her the wisdom she needs to become a doctor or whatever it is that she wants to do in life. I pray that He will guide her. I pray over her mind and pray that God helps her retain knowledge in her desired field of work.
That's how our dreams start. Being brave enough to just say it, and eventually start doing what we love. And if there is no one around you that will give you that permission to dream, just remember that God DOES give you permission!
If you are reading this and you are wondering where you should start, I want you to make a mood board. The first thing you have to do is change your mind so that you can change your mood concerning what you are feeling and thinking about in order to give yourself permission. If the mood is uncertain, then it’s safe to say that you won't consider your dream a possibility, so you will never move forward with it.
When I say mood board, you may be thinking of a vision board. They do function similarly, but they are a little different, and it doesn’t hurt to create both.
A vision board is collected images and text to give your future a visual. It shows you what you see yourself as in the future. A mood board is images and text that put you in the right frame of mind to work on your vision. It puts you in the mood to work on what you see yourself becoming.
For example: A lot of people have old magazines,and they cut out pictures of what they see themselves being or having in the future. You may cut out Oprah because you want to be a billionaire or a journalist, but on your mood board you may cut out pictures of a pen and pretty journals and a beach to indicate that you need a peaceful environment, pen and paper to get started as a journalist to get to Oprah’s level.
Your mood board is to motivate your mood at that time and give you the state of mind of GETTING TO WORK!
So maybe it would be a good project for you to work on. Create the vision board (how you envision your future self) and then create your mood board(the discipline, boundaries, and daily routine it takes to get to your future self) to motivate that time you set aside to work on your dreams. And helping your kids with a vision board will be such a great keepsake that you have years down the line, so when they are stuck and trying to figure out what they want to pursue, it will be something you can pull out to help create that momentum for them to dig deep and go after what they want!
Your mood board should be in the place you have carved out for work. Hang it up so you can see it! This board is a set reminder of what you need to do and why you are doing it.
I am rooting for you! Tag me in your mood board on my Facebook or email them to me. I would love to see where your creativity takes you and your children.
Remember that God has given you permission to dream!